I noticed that a user posted an answer that was obviously grammatically incorrect, so I decided to make an edit/correction, and question where they had found the definition and why they would put it in their answer when the grammar was so glaringly wrong.

It seems as though the user went and re-edited their answer back to the incorrect, grammatically wrong form. I find this disrespectful, counterproductive, and think this should be grounds for suspension when done in a serial manner.


1 Answer 1


If this is related to this answer:

  1. The answerer's text is a direct quote from a dictionary, and editing it would misrepresent what the dictionary had said.

  2. The text is not grammatically wrong. Read it as:

    spelled brunet when [this term is] used of a boy or man

  3. Suspension is reserved for extremely serious abuses of the system. This would typically not be one of them.

  • How is "of a boy" correct grammar?
    – Rachel
    Jul 22, 2011 at 5:57
  • 2
    @Rachel Would you accept "used about a boy"? If so, "of" follows logically—see definition 6.1 of "of" on Wiktionary.
    – waiwai933
    Jul 22, 2011 at 6:00
  • I would say "spelled brunet when [this term is] used in reference to a boy or man" or "spelled brunet when [this term is] used FOR a boy or man. This is now turning into a non-meta conversation, sorry!
    – Rachel
    Jul 22, 2011 at 6:07
  • 15
    @Rachel The point is that it's still a quote and still right, even if a bit poorly phrased. Being a quote, it could (in theory) be completely wrong and the OP would still be right in restoring the original. I'm afraid I don't have the grammatical knowledge to explain why it is grammatical further; you'll have to ask on the main site for more detail. (It's fine about this not being a meta conversation, btw. We're a bit laxer on the rules on the meta site.)
    – waiwai933
    Jul 22, 2011 at 6:10
  • 7
    @Rachel: to be non-meta - 'used of a boy' sounds fine to me. and when quoting, I prefer not changing the original. It -is- annoying to have ones' changes unchanged, but by the same token, the OP might have been annoyed by you changes, too.
    – Mitch
    Jul 22, 2011 at 15:18
  • 3
    I agree with waiwai933; if it is a quote from a dictionary, or another source, then it should not be changed.
    – apaderno
    Jul 22, 2011 at 15:59
  • 8
    "Used of a boy" means "said of a boy" here: I agree with @Mitch that it is fine, though less common in modern English. I am 100 % behind the user who rolled it back (Simchona). Jul 22, 2011 at 17:30
  • 1
    @waiwai933 well okay then, it is settled! I just feel that it could be a bit confusing, when we as OPs post answers that could possibly do more harm than good by confusing those that are actually trying to get a very basic answer, by including questionable grammar. Point taken though, thank you all for your help! :)
    – Rachel
    Jul 22, 2011 at 17:41
  • 6
    @Rachel. Also, the dictionary was saying that brunette is spelled brunet, without the e, when used of a boy or a man. Besides changing the grammar, you completely changed the meaning of the sentence, rendering it nonsensical, by changing the spelling of brunet to brunette. If it's spelled the same in both contexts, what contrast is there left to draw?
    – TRiG
    Sep 3, 2012 at 23:09

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